Teddy Quinlivan Touches on the Trans Experience in the Fashion and Modeling World

“I always loved the effortless, mysterious sophistication of a femme fatale.”

You May Also Like: Fashion Models

No stranger to breaking barriers and refusing to conform to norms, fashion model Teddy Quinlivan has a refreshingly frank demeanor and an unapologetic way of telling her own story. She boldly began her modeling career at the tender age of 16, the same year she began physically transitioning from male to female.

After a local start with an agency in Boston that was none the wiser about her gender journey, Quinlivan headed to Paris two years later and immediately got to work, with her big break coming in 2015, when she was discovered by Louis Vuitton’s creative director, Nicolas Ghesquière. She came out as trans in 2017 and by 2019, she was a runway staple for brands like Dior, Saint Laurent, Jason Wu, and Carolina Herrera, as well as the first openly trans model to be hired for a Chanel campaign.

“It’s not like I woke up one day when I was 16 and I said, ‘Actually, I’m transgendered,’” Quinlivan states. “I always knew there was a misalignment between my mental psychology and my body.”

After taking her early career way too seriously, her best advice is to relax and not be too earnest about the job, lest it take the fun out of everything. She embraces her inherent contradictions and believes in simple happiness: good food, beautiful clothes, and sexy boys.

Her idea of beauty is expansive, considering it to be anything captivating that displays thoughtful intention, even when it mixes in elements that display the dark and potentially ugly. Teddy’s fave aestehtic? “I always loved the effortless, mysterious sophistication of a femme fatale.”

Director: Olivia Sack
Interview: Alexei Key
Casting, Art Director: Amy Lowles
DP: Johnny Frohman
Editor: Marina Elise

You May Also Like: Women’s Equality Day

Stay Ahead In Style
Sign up now for the latest runway updates, original editorials, emerging trends, and exclusive sneak peeks delivered straight to your inbox.
Thank You For Signing Up
You will hear from us soon.
Oops, something went wrong!

This will close in 0 seconds